My Place in the World
Since high school, my biggest accomplishment has been further reducing my anxiety. My life has become so much more ‘normal’. I do things and partake in things now that I once heavily took for granted.But I’ve also been trying to figure out the best fit for me in terms of college. I first took a year out after graduation, and worked in a photography and marketing job in Dublin, Ireland. This experience lead me to get a number of photographs published. I was also lucky enough to get sponsored and have my own photo exhibition.
I then attended college in California for a year doing an media degree, followed by another year out to reevaluate what I wanted and whether the school was the best fit. This fall I will continue my education in Dublin, pursuing BA in Photography. Photography has been my passion and joy of mine since I was a teenager and I want to continue to incorporate it in my life as much as possible.
Wow this is tough. Well, I would say I am a very compassionate and understanding person. I have a lot of empathy and sympathy for others and really pride myself on trying to make others feel as accepted as possible. I also like that I have slowly been able to challenge my belief that I have to fit in all the time and subsequently have become more of the person I want to be, rather than who I think people want me to be. I feel like I am a very real person and that what you see is what you get when it comes to my personality and who I am.
I like to think that if you’re my friend and you need something, I’m there for you. I don’t like to let anyone down and do my best to make my friends feel comfortable around me. I’ll likely be pretty shy and reserved at first, but that’s on me and my own insecurities. When you get to know me, I’ll really open up and things get much easier. I do like being a part of a group now and again, especially as it was once so hard for me to feel anything but fear in, but I’ll almost certainly take a back seat and engage less, especially if there are some less familiar people around.
I want to have a really fulfilling life and be as happy as I can be. I feel like I missed out on so much fun during my teen years that being happy is my number one goal. I’m still trying to learn that happiness really can be the journey. But I’m also working towards a sort of end point, where I am able to bring more of my artwork, namely photography, into the world. I want to work with like minded artists and creatives. But I also want to help other people with struggles like I have gone through, that there honestly is a way out.
Best thing about Oli
This is going to sound cliché. But it’s got to be the people, particularly the staff. They’re the real backbone of the school and so many of them go out of their way to be more than just a teacher, advisor, etc—they genuinely want to help and really care. I’m still in touch with and miss quite a few of the faculty, which I think says more than a lot about what a fantastic group of people they are. I’ve heard a few students call Oli their ‘home away from home’, and this couldn’t be closer to the truth.
Why I Needed Oliverian
I was a highly anxious, school avoiding kid when I first arrived at an Oli summer session in 2012. I had no idea who I was, what I needed or how I could possible move forward in a world I had so much fear being a part of. I was more than a little lost and nothing up to this point had helped me. I was trying to care about academics but school wasn’t the main aspect being affected by my anxiety- my entire life was being derailed.
But slowly, I did move forward. I got increasingly back on track. The following years at Oli were hard and weren’t close to being linear. But with the combination of support from both students and staff at Oliverian, I not only became more confident and social, but I graduated. I went from hiding in my dorm room, to finding myself in the graduation hall. I’ll never take this progress and those who helped me reach it for granted.
Why the World Needs Oliverian
Places like Oliverian are extremely hard to come by. Not because Oli is hidden in rural New Hampshire, but because this type of school and environment seem to exist nowhere else. And if these types of places are so scarce, who is going to provide for all the students that enter its doors if there are no doors to enter? Who’s going to be there to help these uniquely wonderful young people realize how unique and wonderful they are, while helping them reach their academic goals at the same time? Oliverian is needed and should be celebrated. I don’t know what I would have done without it or where I’d be now had it not existed.